Sen. Bernard Sanders slammed GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley on Sunday for proposing a mandatory competency test for any elected official over 75 years of age.
Mr. Sanders, 81, said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” that the idea is absurd and discriminatory against elderly Americans.
“We are fighting racism, we’re fighting sexism, we’re fighting homophobia,” said Mr. Sanders, Vermont independent. “I think we should also be fighting ageism. Trust people, look at people and say, ‘You know, this person is competent, this person is not competent.’”
Mr. Sanders, who is up for reelection in 2024, said voters have to judge competency in their elected officials on an individual basis.
“I don’t think you make a blanket statement,” he said.
Mrs. Haley, a former governor of South Carolina, proposed the mandatory mental competency test when jumping into the 2024 White House race last week.
The proposal is seen as a direct shot at 80-year-old President Biden and Mrs. Haley’s leading competitor for the Republican nomination, 76-year-old former President Donald Trump.
“In the America I see, the permanent politician will finally retire,” said Mrs. Haley. “We’ll have term limits for Congress and mandatory mental competency tests for politicians over 75 years old.”